Dolphin Swimming at Akaroa

Looking to get out of the city for a day, well taking a trip to the beautiful Akaroa harbor town is a must. This gorgeous harbor town has a lot to offer but our favorite is the Black Cat Dolphin Swim, below are the details of how to book and what it has to offer.

It couldn’t be easier you can book at reception, online here at, or you could go to the i site down by the botanical gardens, you will also need to book the French connection shuttle to take you there and back you can get a hold of them here, but you can also do this at reception or the i site.

The french connection shuttle will come and pick you up from Kiwi Basecamp at around 8.30am/9.00am and you will be on your way, make sure to let your driver know that you are booked in for your dolphin experience, the shuttle is super comfy and air conditioned for your comfort, it’s like a mini tour on the way there and back as your driver is also your guide, there are 2 stops on the way one at little river and the other at the top of the hill allowing you to take some fantastic scenic shots. It takes around 2.5 hours.

So you will arrive at the wharf where the fun will begin make your way to The Black Cat cruises where the friendly staff will get you wetsuited up with added booties for warmth and comfort as well as your snorkel and mask, lockers are provided for you to store your stuff,

Then is heading out to the boat where you will meet your amazing guides, this is a very informative tour in and out of the water.

Hector’s dolphins are endemic to New Zealand, meaning that you will not find them anywhere else in the world, and Akaroa is the only place you can take a trip out to swim with them. They are also the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin. An encounter with a Hector’s dolphin in the wild is truly a once in a lifetime experience. This is possibly why Black Cat Cruises dolphin swim experience is listed in the Lonely Planet guide as on of the ‘Top 10 Marine Mammal Experiences in The World’!

Black Cat’s Dolphin Swimming adventure allows only 12 swimmers per vessel, so you’ll have more chances to come face to face with the dolphins.

Akaroa Harbour is the flooded crater of an extinct volcano, set within picturesque Banks Peninsula. Apart from the huge and awe-inspiring volcanic cliffs, this also means that the harbour is very sheltered. A lot of the time, especially in summer, your dolphin encounter will be inside the sheltered harbour.You’ll be swimming with the world’s smallest dolphins in the world’s largest ocean!. This is why we think this one is pretty special.

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